METRO/CRIME

Lagos Assembly Frowns At Land Grabbing, Harps On Full Enforcement Of Relevant Laws

 

Members of the Lagos state House of Assembly have frowned at the high rate of land grabbing in the state, harping on full enforcement of relevant laws.

The House frowned at cases where land speculators write petitions and with the connivance of security officials, the real owners of the properties were arrested, taken to Abuja and forced to sign undertakings that would bar them from the same land they bought from their toiling.

Moving the motion under ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ earlier, Hon. Kazeem Olayinka (Mushin 2), implored the House to organise a meeting with the stakeholders to address the problem.

In his contribution, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) stressed the importance of focusing on the enforcement of the law against land grabbing.

Yishawu urged the establishment of a dedicated agency to effectively handle cases.

However, Speaker of the House, Rt. (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, said land grabbing has become “a serious issue that is beyond disturbing. It is chaotic. Many people have been killed, some maimed and some locked up without trial just because of the existence of some people who have turned themselves to land grabbers.”

The Speaker, who said these land grabbers often attack new and developing areas in Ikorodu, Epe, Ojo and others, added: “I wonder how somebody would just invade people’s properties and still exude such boldness and confidence, kill the owner or bring police.”

Obasa, recalling his own experience sometime ago, further added: “what do you think of the fate of a resident who struggles to own a property, struggle to start building on it only for somebody to just suddenly take over the land making life difficult for him?”

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He also raised concerns over delays and multiple judgements from courts while urging the state government to consider commensurate compensations for land owners whose properties are taken over in overriding public interest.

“Land is a source of wealth for its owners and when government acquires it, there must be a process in place for adequate compensation. If not, how do you expect such people to get out of poverty?” He asked.

Other lawmakers who contributed to the debate harped on the need for stronger enforcement of the extant laws relating to land grabbing.

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